Akai SynthStation 25

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Blip Interactive
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Joined: 04/05/2010

*** UPDATED - NanoStudio is now compatible with the Akai Pro SynthStation25 from V1.12 onwards! ***

Ooh what's this? Yes it's the Akai SynthStation with NanoStudio!

Akai SynthStation wth NanoStudio

Everything's pretty well complete, need to do some more final testing and then it's ready to go in the next update.

When's the next update you ask? Well I want to include a couple of other things too (such as improved sample interpolation) so it's probably going to be sent to Apple early next week. Expect it to be available in the app store in approximately 3 weeks time!

mcpepe
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Joined: 08/06/2010

Can we use the Akai SynthStation hardware with the Ipad?

Blip Interactive
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Joined: 04/05/2010

On the box, it says that it's compatible with all iPod Touch and iPhone devices (including the iPhone 4). However, the iPad won't fit physically into the recess.

I suspect the connector pinout on the iPad is compatible so if anyone knows of a breakout or extender cable for the iPhone connector then let me know.

LoveAurell
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Joined: 07/06/2010

Great! How is The physical feel in The keys of this hardware? Does it feel plastic or is it sturdy?

Blip Interactive
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Joined: 04/05/2010

I reckon they've got it just about right. When you first get it out of the box it feels relatively light (ideal for travelling) but in use it's got some really grippy rubber feet and controller surfaces which makes it feel nice and solid. So best of both worlds I reckon.

I'd say that the keys have got slightly heavier springs than average, but this might be my imagination because the keyboard's not full size. I'm glad that it's not a full size keyboard personlly since this strikes a good balance between portability and key range.

Mine got damaged in transit (I got it through someone I knew who probably didn't package it properly) and because I didn't want to lose time by sending it back I took it apart and fixed it myself by replacing the mod wheel pot. Inside it's got metal brackets in all the right places and it turns out that the accident had sheared the metal shaft of the pot. It must have taken a very sizeable whack to do this because there was nothing inside that looked flimsy to me. I'd be very surprised if this happened to anyone else.

LoveAurell
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Joined: 07/06/2010

Great, thanks for the info! Might consider getting one myself when the update comes. How's the latency compared to the mobilizer?

Albid
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Joined: 10/18/2010

Wonderful.
Blipinteractive = the best!

LoveAurell
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Joined: 07/06/2010

A few more questions popped into my head.

Will you make it possible to play all four midi channels at once with the synthstation? It would be wonderful to be able to layer all four synths and play them at the same time. I would find this VERY useful live. Would make nanostudio compete even with most live synths available today. Is this possible to implement at all?

Does the iPhone take power from the synthstation so you don't have to worry about the battery level?

anickt
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Joined: 09/21/2010

Will phone with a case on it fit or naked only? Thanks!

Blip Interactive
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Joined: 04/05/2010

Yes you can layer up all 4 synths on the same channel if you want. The latency seems fine but I haven't really been hammering it yet.

I'm pretty sure that the phone will not charge from the SynthStation when the latter's running on batteries. However the SynthStation also has a DC adapter input, and the specs rate this at 1A. That's a lot for just a battery operated device so it could well be that it powers/charges the phone when running off the mains.

An adaptor doesn't come with it though so I'll have to see if I can dig out one that's compatible.

Blip Interactive
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Joined: 04/05/2010

Not sure if the phone will fit with a case on it. If the case is very slim then possibly, but you might run the danger of putting stress on the connector if it's misaligned.

LoveAurell
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Joined: 07/06/2010

Great news about the layering! Waiting eagerly. You're the best!

sjk
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Joined: 10/13/2010

Cool news!

sbangs
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Joined: 11/03/2010

While this hasn't been officially tested by apple an extender cable should work for use with the iPad, the unit will charge your iPod if the PSU is attached.

Blip Interactive
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Joined: 04/05/2010

I just checked dock externder cables out on eBay. Quite a lot of the ones around the £4 mark only mention that theu work with iPod and iPhone. The ones that mention iPad are mostly around the £8-10 mark. Is there really a difference between them or are they having a laugh?

Nick
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Joined: 11/03/2010

Hi - great news. Can you confirm the iPhone 4 will definitely fit? I've heard mixed things from Akai & retailers on this...

thanks!

Rookie2
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Joined: 10/11/2010

Great! Thumbs up for Blip :))

TeddyKGB
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Joined: 11/02/2010

This will be awsome! I will get the synth in the end of november. I hope you're done with the update by then.
I thank you for your awsomeness!

XX

unclejambo
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Joined: 10/24/2010

I've got the hardware and am finding the latency, for the akai app which you'd imagine would be optimised, just awful.

Pads is about the only thing I can get away with and any attempt at playing bass lines is futile. I also find it not particularly responsive in as much as sometimes it just drops notes.

Has anyone else found this to be the case. Hopefully your experience of it with nanostudio is better blip?

Looked forward to the hardware for so long and it's just a major let down!

Blip Interactive
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Joined: 04/05/2010

I was using it a little more seriously last night and can't say I noticed anything that bad. I should try it with the Akai app to see if I get similar results. I'll try out out tonight - especially if my girlfriend insists on watching Eastenders again :)

Have you tried rebooting your phone to make sure that there's nothing going on with something running in the background?

One thing I did find is that I did get the odd 'key bounce' sometimes (ie. a double triggered note). By altering my playing style to press the keys a little harder it went away. I want to cross check this against the Akai app too.

Overall though, I've been having fun with it.

voxx_man
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Joined: 11/04/2010

Hi again,

Not sure if I'm being a little lazy here, but is there some update I need to download to get the Synthstation to work with NS. It's playing notation when the Akai software is loaded, but I can't seem to get anything out of NS. If I play the notes direct from the iTouch I do here sound from the headphone out on the Synthstation though.

Cheers in advance
Rich
PS, luckily my wife gave up Eastenders quite a while ago :)

Touchy
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Joined: 09/21/2010

You have to wait for the next upadate of NS before you can use it with synthstation. Should be out in the next few weeks.

voxx_man
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Joined: 11/04/2010

Doh... I just read through the forum again and notice that everyone is talking about Akai app (latency etc).

Cool, cheers for the info and I look forward to the update

I have to say, NS is a great bit of kit. It's amazing to think that something like this blows aways all the kit I owned in the past (early 90s), but doesn't cost 2 to 5K lol.

Keep up the good work

ishfaq
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Joined: 09/20/2010

Wicked wicked news! How do the outputs work for this? The Synth Station has a main left and right output - does the iPhone's headphone output get muted when it's connected? If not, is there any way of routing the signal from a single NanoStudio instrument out through that, while the rest of the output goes through the Synth Station? Just curious as I have a Kaoss pad, would be wicked to send drums and bass out through the main outs and then a synth through the headphone out to the KP...

Ruben.cc
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Joined: 10/23/2010

Regarding the dock-connector extender cables...

The iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch all use the exact same 30-pin dock connector, however...

This connector is used for all kinds of "signals", being USB, FireWire, plain audio, video, charging and more. There are even some differences in which device still supports what. For example, you won't be able to charge newer iPods using accessories that use the FireWire pins for charging, because FireWire is not used on newer iPods anymore.

Now cablewise... the best cable would ideally extend all the 30 pins from the male to the female connector on it. It seems very unlikely to me however that some cheap Chinese cables from unknown manufacturers use a freakin' expensive 30-wire cable to connect the male to the female part of the extender. It's most likely that these cheap cables, for example for audio-docks, will only have about 8 wires for power, audio and maybe USB.

I have no idea exactly what pins are used by the Akai station, but chances are that some pins are in use that are not extended in cheap cables and maybe even not in the more expensive ones since these cables are obviously not meant for use with the synthstation specifically.

Therefore... a cable that works with the iPhone on the synthstation will absolutely also work with the iPad, but chances are that some (or maybe all) cables also don't work with the iPhone hence will also not work with the iPad.

Basically... I would not just blindly order a cable just for this but try to find someone who already has one and just try it. :-)

cyberheater
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Joined: 06/05/2010

Is this now compatible? I want to purchase a synthstation but I'll wait until it's synthstation compatible.

Blip Interactive
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Joined: 04/05/2010

It's finished, will be submitting to the store early next week. With current approval times it should be available in the store approx. 2 weeks after that.

LoveAurell
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Joined: 07/06/2010

Yeah! What are the other features in the update?

Blip Interactive
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Joined: 04/05/2010

VU monitor during mic sampling, and a metronome click. I think I should be able to get 'monitor song whilst recording' working too.

Improved sample interpolation - I've spent over a week on trying to optimise everything to achieve this at no extra CPU cost and I've sped up a fair amount of stuff but couldn't get there. Testing with all 16 pads playing, all effects on, all Edens playing 8 notes with 2 oscillators I get these CPU figures:

iPod 2G NanoStudio V1.0 : 66%
iPod 2G NanoStudio V1.12 (further optimisations) : 60%
iPod 2G NanoStudio V1.12 with optimisations using improved interpolation method : 78%

Just for comparison, in the last case (V1.12 with improved interpolation) I get 50% on the 3GS and 25% on the iPad. There's not much left that I can make any faster now - I'm going to offer low/mid/high settings to cater for the range of hardware out there. It will always use high when resampling or making a mixdown.

Annoyingly, it's difficult to get more than 50% out of the 3GS at the moment. The OS slows the processor to half speed when it thinks it's not busy (to reduce battery drain) but fails to look at what the audio's up to when making this judgement. Instead, it looks at the display drawing (which in NanoStudio's case is fairly fast), thinks the processor's not needed and reduces to half speed :(

gotchaman
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Joined: 09/06/2010

I just bought the SynthStation 25 on your recommend (and a few youtube videos) and expect it delivered in a week. I'm not a serious musician, but just like to dabble with programs like Garage Band, Logic Pro, and Live. as well as getting a used M-Audio Oxygen V2 keyboard. I bought some of the better known apps for my iPod Touch, but none of them come close to NS! Thanks so much for all your work and also running a great forum. With some apps, the forums are so lacking any direct input from the author, but not here! Again, thanks!

olivegoose
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Joined: 08/02/2010

hi matt,
i look forward to the update. let us all know once you submit it, i look forward to compulsively checking the app store : )
i've got my same old question: will the update run well on my iphone 3g os 3.1.3? it runs great now. i know you said it works on your ipod 2g but i think those are slightly more powerful than the phone.
thanks